S’porean retirees eye Johor

Ample facilities for senior care and lower cost of living top their list

JOHOR BARU: Johor is prepared to meet the challenges of an ageing population by providing ample facilities to support and care for the seniors.

Johor women’s family and community development committee chairman Khairin-Nisa Ismail (pic) said a total of eight activity centres for older persons (PAWE) will be upgraded with an allocation of RM385,000 from the state government.

“The government is actively addressing the challenges posed by an ageing population. The PAWE will facilitate various activities to promote healthy, positive, active, productive and supportive ageing,” she said.

Khairin-Nisa added that the Federal Government has also introduced initiatives for the elderly, namely the Action Plan for Older Persons, the National Policy for Older Persons, the National Senior Citizens Advisory and Consultative Council, welfare voluntary organisations, Senior Citizen Assistance, the Financial Assistance of Artificial and Assistive Devices, and the Home Help Services programme.

Besides Malaysians, many Singaporeans are considering making the state a retirement home of choice.

Singaporean Tengku Mohamed Damaishah Tengku Abdul Aziz, 53, has plans to move to the country because of the attractions and lower cost of living in Malaysia compared with the city-state.

“I’m fond of the people and the food here. I prefer to stay in Johor Baru because it’s close to Singapore. It’s important for me to be within two hours of a Singapore hospital in case of a medical emergency,” he said.

Meanwhile, according to business owner Sabaruddin Tri Putra Sjafril, 41, he chose Gelang Patah due to its serene environment.

“I’ve been living in Johor since 2012. I used to reside in Larkin, Johor Baru, but later moved to Gelang Patah.

“The city has become too busy for me. I prefer a quiet place,” he explained.

Sabaruddin also pointed out that the stronger Singapore dollar against the ringgit was another positive factor for his decision to move to Johor.

“My monthly expenses in Singapore can reach up to S$3,000 (RM10,554), whereas here, my monthly expenses are only about RM2,000,” he shared.

Asked if he has plans to buy a house in Gelang Patah, Sabaruddin said foreigners could only buy housing units priced at RM1mil and above.

“It would be an additional financial burden for me. Some requirements of the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme are not favourable to Singaporeans, especially the requirment of RM1mil in fixed deposit,” he said.

As for private sector worker, Mohammad Tarmizi Jumiat, 39, the high cost of living in Singapore is the main reason why he chose to live in Kota Iskandar.

“I’m working in Jurong, so the travel time between the two places is less than one hour.

“Personally, the exchange rate has helped me in setting up my new family and given us a chance to save up on other things, especially for emergencies,” he said.

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